3 Fundamentals Of A Successful Volunteer Application | campus.sg

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Nonprofit organisations (NPO) first came into being some time in the 18th century. Back then, volunteers were barely asked any questions before allowing them to join. The system was mostly based on trust, given that NPOs were started by religious institutions. However, over the years, volunteer mistakes have been the causes of serious issues within the organisations and with their clients.

Today, volunteers are understandably vetted thoroughly before admission, and the internet and social media has made the job that much more easier. The target market of the NPOs is mostly children, women and/or the elderly, and a simple error from a volunteer may lead to dire consequences, like a serious injury to an old man or the death of an infant. 

Thus, you, as an aspiring volunteer, should not take the application lightly, because the NPO authorities certainly won’t. To help you on your way, here are the three fundamentals of successfully applying for the job.

Research the NPO before Filling the Form

Oftentimes, volunteers join just any organisation only to later realise that it was not what they had wished to do. Get this fact hammered into your head: not all NPOs are the same! The type of work differs at different NPOs, and so do the types of clients. Read the brochure carefully before even asking for the form.

Once you have determined that it is the right NPO for you, start filling the form. A few of the questions asked in the application form may look non-relevant, but those are the ones that are very important. 

For instance, the section that allows you to state any additional skills you may have will mark the difference between a rejection and an acceptance.

Importance of a Cover Letter

The application form doesn’t usually cover everything you have to say. Don’t hesitate to go the extra mile by drafting a cover letter as well. Don’t know how to pen the perfect cover letter? Let the professionals do the work for you. You can hire one of the many cover letter writing services rated on platforms like IHateWritingEssays, and state your requirements to them. 

There are a few points to remember while writing a cover letter for NPOs.

  • Regardless of how they advertise their classifieds, most NPOs aren’t corporate companies. They are in it for actually doing some good in the world. So don’t draft your cover letter like you would for some private business firm. 
  • Don’t blandly describe all your additional skill-sets; pour your heart into it. Show them that you care for their cause and are willing to take it up on their behalf. 
  • Finally, though it is not a publishing company, ensure that the letter is grammatically accurate. Language inconsistencies are a big setback while applying for the job.

Ace the Interview

Again, don’t approach this interview like you would a corporate one. Confidence may be the key on both counts, but your compassion holds the upper hand at an NPO interview. 

You will normally be asked questions about your background, personal and professional. Answer them like you normally would. But when the interviewer starts asking questions about the NPO itself, change gears and show him/her that you really are made out for the type of work expected.

Final Thought

While getting a job at an NPO may seem simple at first glance, it is not. Quite a few applicants get rejected every week, mostly because they don’t have the required skill-sets, but sometimes also because they didn’t show enough compassion for the task. 

At the interview and in the cover letter, what you say and how you say it matters. But don’t sweat it much; it’s not a recruitment channel for the likes of NASA! Just be yourself and you are bound to cruise through the application process.